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Memories of Easter in Kerala

Josephine Oommen shares her memories of Easter in Kerala; April 2014, Delhi

My mother belonged to the Jacobite denomination. She was very particular about observing the 40-day fast. Her parents used to have only black coffee on those days, even milk or curd was not permitted. Easter is the day we break the fast. I remember my father used to tease Mother. He would say, ‘You crucify the Christ on Good Friday and then you go to market to buy things for celebrating Easter’! When it came to my childhood, the 40 days were reduced to seven days, starting from Palm Sunday and ending on Easter Sunday.

 

To the best of my recollection, we never had great celebrations as we did during the Christmas. Easter was never a time for partying. Easter was breaking the fast, never for feasting. But now there has been a deviation; indeed considerable celebrations occur. When we were children, for us it was just a relief from the restrictions of the period of fasting.

 

However, my father was not particularly insistent on our going to church, though reading the Bible was required. But my mother made it a point to attend the church whenever possible. It was she who taught us the teachings of Jesus, and not my father.

 

We never used to meet our relatives or friends during the period of fasting. See, even talking to Sahapedia on a Good Friday is a deviation from our tradition!